SPOTLIGHT: THE COLLECTION OF AJ SALAZAR

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Welcome to the DCCollectors collection spotlight, where we showcase one of your DC-themed collections! Whether it is a fan just starting out with a small collection, to some of the largest collections in the world, there is always something you can learn from looking at other’s collections. You might find a new way to display something, or maybe even see something you did not know existed!

Today’s focus is on the collection of AJ Salazar. AJ has an amazing collection of Aquaman related memorabilia. He even has his own Aqua-Man Cave (see what he did there)?

Check out more about AJ’s collection below!

Aquaman mini-figures from the collection of AJ Salazar

DCCollectors: How did you get into collecting Aquaman merchandise and what was your first Aquaman toy/collectible?

AJ Salazar: Just like any other kid, I grew up watching lots of Superman and Batman animations and owned a couple of their toys back then. My love for toys and action figures has not died since. It was around late 2008-2009 when I first found out about the DC Universe Classics toy line. My first figure was Aquaman from Wave 2, the short hair variant.

I was more of a toy collector than a comic book fan, so when my love for Aquaman started to grow, I started reading just a couple of comics about his origins. I actually found out that in New Earth the second Aquaman was named “Arthur Joseph” Curry, which I think was super cool at the time because my full name is “Anthony Joseph” and the geek in me tells me: “he’s got to be my spirit hero!” Haha! Want to know another cool story? Aquaman’s DC Comics birth date is January 29th and mine is before his- the 28th! Yes, born an Aquarius. I believe that was the turning point. My enjoyment for collecting the King of the Seven Seas started to grow and the rest is history!

DCCollectors: How many pieces are in your collection?

AJ Salazar: I honestly lost count. Some aren’t displayed or showcased because they’re either super small, paper-like or super fragile like mini memorabilia. I usually get or buy anything Aquaman-related. Items like mini memorabilia, statues, or even custom items, etc… I am always trying to look for ways to showcase them inside my small Aqua-Man-Cave. At this point, I wouldn’t say a lot more than 500-600 but maybe around 400 – more or less.

DCCollectors: If you could only choose one item to keep, which one would it be and why?

AJ Salazar:  I would love to keep them all! Haha. Tough question as there’s some that have memories, but then if I have to really choose one, it would probably be the Aquaman Movie Jason Momoa statue by Sideshow Collectibles. Simply because it’s my wife’s first Aquaman present for me on my birthday. Another one I’d love to keep with me also would be the DC Universe Classics Aquaman short-hair variant as it’s the one that started it all for me.

DCCollectors: If price did not matter, what is the one Aquaman item that you want to add to your collection?

AJ Salazar: Oh man, I’d definitely want to add the actual Hero suit costume from the Aquaman movie, or the one used from the Justice League movie as a memorabilia grail! The movie really did justice in bringing Aquaman to life, so that’s something I’d love to acquire someday, and if budget permits! Haha!

DCCollectors: How did you find those awesome DC Universe Classics prototypes?

AJ Salazar: During my early days of collecting Aquaman figures, I would read a lot of collectors confessions and one of them talked about being a “deeper” collector and how he was able to acquire some of those prototypes and test-shots figures that he had. I got inspired and from there I wondered if there’s a small chance I’d be able to find one of the Aquaman figures. I tried looking in some of these online markets and actually found one! I befriended the seller and turns out he owned two figures, which were the DC Universe Classics Aquaman short hair prototype and the DC Comics Icons Aquaman. I ended up getting the DC Universe Classics first of course, and weeks later I was able to acquire his Icons Aquaman prototype. The other prototypes I own for both figures and Funko’s came from different sellers and collectors. It’s all the same process of hunting down these prototypes and with the help of other collectors and friend’s leads.

DCCollectors: Do you ever add other DC toys (besides Aquaman) to your collection?

AJ Salazar: Not sure if Mera is counted for the Aquaman collection, but I also collect her and she definitely has a special place in my collection. I own a couple of Black Manta and Black Adam figures too, and then some DC Comics women for my Funko collection.

DCCollectors: If others wanted to start a collection based on Aquaman, what piece of advice would you give them?

AJ Salazar: It’s never too late to start! Collecting Aquaman is not as hard as collecting Superman or the entire Green Lantern army, WE ARE BLESSED! Hahaha! Kidding aside, simply just enjoy the fun of collecting! Never pressure yourself because it will suck out the fun and thrill of it. Don’t rush and never compete with other collectors. Your collection is your own, use it as a motivation to expand your line.

And no matter how big or small your collection is, remember that you’re doing it for yourself and for whatever personal value it has to you and not for anyone else or just to show off. Personal value and happiness comes first before anything else. And always, always.. be kind and humble. You’ll definitely meet lots of nice collectors along the way that will most likely contribute more to your collection and might end up being one of your good friends. Always remember, if it makes you happy, GET IT! Unite the SEVEN!!!!

DCCollectors: Do you have an interesting story regarding the collection, such as meeting someone famous while shopping for your toys, or a super deal you got on something?

AJ Salazar: Well actually not while shopping for toys but when the Aquaman movie premiered in my place, we had an Aquaman Fan Event with the cast and Director James Wan. With the help of my Friend, Khat, I was lucky enough to get my Aquaman Funko Pop signed by Jason Momoa at the event! Super nice guy and he actually did spend a couple of hours interacting with the fans and just signing stuff! Definitely one of my best memories being an Aquaman fan, as Jason Momoa really did justice bringing him to life!

Check out an image gallery below, featuring AJ’s Aquaman collection. (Click the image to open up a better look at it)

If you would like to share your collection with DCCollectors’ readers, please visit the Contact Us page, and drop me a line! I would love to feature your DC toy collection here at DCCollectors.com!

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